Posted, Wednesday, June 11, 2014 --- 5:00 p.m.
School is almost out for summer in Madison and for some kids it means swimming, biking and summer fun, but for other kids, it means wondering where their next meal is coming from.
Hunger doesn't take the summer off. That's what the Madison School District says. So today we looked into their program that feeds any and all students in the district and makes sure they don't go hungry this break.
"As far as types of items that are served, we put a heavy emphasis on fruits and vegetables," says Madison Metropolitan School District Meal Supervisor, Steve Youngbauer.
The students are not only not going hungry. They're going healthy.
"Produce is abundant in the summer time so it lends itself well to a good variety of produce there," Youngbauer adds, "You know tomorrow is the last day of school and certainly a lot of excitement in the air."
He says when that last bell rings for the year, he wants to know that the students will show up again next year. Just as healthy.
"Really it's about educating kids, proper eating habits, making sure that they have the energy to perform well to the best of their ability."
The district has been doing it for years, combating the growling stomachs of the more than 50% of students from low income families.
"Kids can just come in, they don't have to fill out any paperwork there are no requirements as far as household income or any of those requirements that we might have during the typical traditional school year."
The 35 locations will be open for 8 weeks. Starting June 23rd through August 15th. Most locations will serve breakfast, lunch, and a snack and students can show up for two a day---completely free.
"It's a great opportunity to get a balanced meal, kids have the option to eat healthy and make good choices and we think it's really an important part of their summer experience."
The district says it'll serve more than 175,000 meals during that eight week period. The funding for this program all comes from the US Department of Agriculture.